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Meteorological Aerodrome Report (METAR), also known as Meteorological Terminal Aviation Routine Weather Report, Meteorological Terminal Air Report or Meteorological Airfield Report is a format for reporting weather information.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) describes METAR as the aerodrome routine meteorological report.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the UK Met Office all describe a METAR as aviation weather report.
The elements of these messages are normally given in the order below. Some elements or groups may be omitted when they are not needed or do not apply:
The indicator group e.g. METAR, SPECI, or TREND as appropriate. Where a number of METARs are issued in the same bulletin, this, along with a date time group may be in the bulletin header.
The ICAO indicator of the reporting station eg. EGLL.
Date/Time of Report
The day of the month and the time of the observation in hours and minutes UTC e.g. 191350Z.
The optional code word AUTO indicates that the report has been generated using data from an automated observing system.
The mean wind direction in degrees true to the nearest 10 degrees, from which the wind is blowing and the mean wind speed in knots over the 10 minute period immediately preceding the observation e.g. 35015KT = 350 degrees true/15 kts; VRB05KT = variable/5 kts; 00000 = CALM. If gusts exceed the mean wind speed by 10kts or more in the 10 minutes preceding the time of the report, a letter G and 2 more figures are added to indicate the maximum wind speed e.g. 23018G30KT = 230 degrees true/18 kts gusting to a maximum of 30 kts. Reports may express wind speed in metres per second ('MPS) or Kilometres per hour (KPH). Winds greater than 100 kts or more shall be preceded by the letter P and reported as P99KT or P99MPS or P199KPH.
Reported in a four figure group (e.g. 0400 = 400 metres; 8000 = 8 km) up to but excluding 10 km; 9999 = 10km or more; 0000 = less than 50 metres visibility.
Runway Visual Range (RVR)
Weather is indicated by up to 3 groups comprising symbols and letters from the following:
|- = slight||+ = Heavy||BC = Patches||BL = Blowing|
|BR = Mist||DR = Low Drifting||DS = Dust Storm||DU = Widespread Dust|
|DZ = Drizzle||FG = Fog||FC = Funnel Cloud (e.g. Tornado)||FU = Smoke|
|FZ = Freezing||GR = Hail||GS = Small Hail||HZ = Haze|
|IC = Ice Crystals||MI = Shallow||PL = Ice Pellets||PO = Dust Devils|
|RA = Rain||SA = Sand||SG = Snow Grains||SH = Shower|
|SN = Snow||SQ = Squall||SS = Sandstorm||TS = Thunderstorm|
|VA = Volcanic Ash||VC = In the vicinity (nearby)||UP = Unidentified Precipitation||RE = Recent|
e.g - FZDZ = Slight Freezing Drizzle; + SHRASN = Heavy Shower of Rain and Snow; REUP = Recent Unidentified Precipitation.
Cloud amount is reported as FEW = few (1-2 oktas), SCT = scattered (3-4 oktas), BKN = broken (5-7 oktas) or OVC = overcast (8 oktas), followed by the height of the cloud base in hundreds of feet above aerodrome elevation e.g. SCT018 = scattered clouds at 1800 ft. Note that in area and route forecasts, heights are AMSL or standard pressure altitudes.
Selection of cloud layers reported is made as follows:
Sky obscured is given as VV followed by the vertical visibility in hundreds of feet. When the vertical visibility has not been measured, the group will be VV///.
When there are no clouds of operational significance to report, no CB or TCU and CAVOK is not appropriate, the abbreviation NSC (No Significant Cloud) is used.
The Visibility, Cloud, and Weather groups are replaced by the term CAVOK (cloud and visibility OK) when the following conditions exist simultaneously:
Air temperature and dewpoint are reported in whole degrees Celsius, e.g. 10/07 = Temperature 10°C/ Dew point 7°C.
QNH is stated to the nearest whole hectopascal (equivalent to a millibar) rounded down and preceded by the letter Q e.g. Q1013 = QNH 1013 Hectopascals.
Significant recent weather observed in the period since the last routine observation will be reported by using the code letters for weather preceded by the letters RE e.g. RETS = Recent Thunderstorm.
In a METAR, civil aerodromes may include wind shear if reported along the take off or approach paths in the lowest 1600 ft with reference to the runway. WS is used to begin the group, e.g. WS TKOF RWY20. If the wind shear is affecting all runways, WS ALL RWY is reported.
Aerodrome Colour State
UK military and USAFE aerodromes will include the abbreviated colour state at the end of the message and ad the forecast colour state after the TREND.
Runway State Group (RSG)
NOTE: The RSG is omited from the METAR since the introduction of the new SNOWTAM format in 2021. However, this information is still included in some states (e.g. Russia).
An 8-figure group which may be added to METAR from civil aerodromes.
27 = Rwy 27 or 27L 77 = Rwy 27R (50 added to the designator for "right" runway) 88 = All runways 99 = repetition of the last message as no new information received.
0 = Clear and dry 1 = Damp 2 = Wet or water patches 3 = Rime or frost covered (depth normally less than 1mm) 4 = Dry snow 5 = Wet snow 6 = Slush 7 = Ice 8 = compacted or rolled snow 9 = frozen ruts or ridges / = type of deposit not reported (e.g. due to rwy clearance in progress)
1 = 10% or less 2 = 11% to 25% 5 = 26% to 50% 9 = 51% to 100% / = not reported (e.g. due to rwy clearance in progress)
the quoted depth is the mean of a number of readings or, if operationally significant, the greatest depth measured.
00 = less than 1mm 01 = 1mm etc to 90 = 90mm 91 = not used 92 = 10cm 93 = 15cm 94 = 20cm 95 = 25cm 96 = 30cm 97 = 35cm 98 = 40cm or more 99 = Rwy(s) non-operational due to snow, slush, ice, large drifts or runway clearance, but depth not reported. // = depth of deposit operationally not significant or measurable.
The mean value is transmitted or, if operationally significant, the lowest value, e.g.:
28 = friction coefficient 0.28 38 = friction coefficient 0.38 or 91 = Braking action: Poor 92 = Braking action: Medium/Poor 93 = Braking action: Medium 94 = Braking action: Medium/Good 95 = Braking action: Good 99 = Figures unreliable (e.g. if equipment has been used which does not measure satisfactorily in slush or snow.) // = Braking action not reported (e.g. runway not operational; aerodrome closed; etc.)
Note: If contamination conditions cease to exist, the abbreviation CLRD is used, e.g.
24CLRD93 = Rwy 24 cleared; Braking action: Medium/Good 88CLRD95 = All rwys cleared; Braking Action: Good
TREND forecasts are indicated by BECMG (Becoming) or TEMPO (temporary) which may be followed by a time group (hours and minutes UTC) preceded by one of the letter indicated FM (from), TL (until), AT (at)
e.g. BECMG FM1030 TL1130
NOSIG replaces the TREND group when no significant changes are forecast to occur during the 2 hour forecast period.
To indicate the end of significant weather the abbreviation NSW (No Significant Weather) is used.
Only those elements for which a significant change is expected should be included in a TREND.
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